Archive for: January 2015

Why South Sudan should mourn dead Saudi’s King Abdullah Ibn Saud

BY: Deng Leuth Yuang, CALGARY, Alberta, CANADA, JAN/24/2015, SSN;

“The fear of the unknown is going to be supportive to crude oil prices. King Abdullah was the architect of the current strategy to keep production high and force out smaller players instead of cutting,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Following the death of Saudi Arabia King, the US West Texas Intermediate benchmark rose by more than 2% selling at $47.76 a barrel and the international Brent Crude benchmark rose by more than 1.5% selling at $49.10 a barrel.

Wow! A world of Unbelievables, a Little United States of America in the heart of Middle East is exerting its pressure upon world’s energy giants – oil and gas economies, companies and individual dealers to either adjust, stay put or do away with oil. Unbelievable!

This brings me to the South Sudan’s economy. There was some uproar among certain quarters of South Sudanese when Pres. Salva Kiir sent condolences to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the death of their leader. These critics claimed that late King Abdullah was an Islamic Jihadist, and hence there are better things Mr. Kiir should spend his time on such as expediting the peace process or mourning those killed in the country by his self-made senseless war.

That is great, but one thing is crystal clear. I do think President Kiir was playing out his international diplomatic role as a leader in his own right to ‘appease and recognize the Kingdom’ as an important partner in the world market today.

In any particular market set up, there are two main sets of competitors, the major vs the fringe. Saudi Arabia is a major player whereas South Sudan is a fringe or minor.

Actions by Saudi Arabia can send waves across the energy markets whereas South Sudan’s actions are just a drop in the ocean.

The answer lies in the production capacities of approximately 9.7 million vs 160, 000 bpd for Kingdom and South Sudan respectively. Look at those numbers!

Henceforth, Saudi Arabia is holding the energy world hostage. How South Sudan economy fares well in the next 2-3 years will be determined neither by US nor the Arusha intra-party or Addis Ababa national peace talks, but by this relatively small superpower, not weaponry or technology but oil guru, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!

That is to say, if you live in South Sudan and you want an end to that scarcity of hard currency in Juba, especially that exorbitant Forex rate of up to 7.3 SSP a dollar; or you are looking for US dollars for your overseas treatment, rental and other family obligations such as studies and other accessories, pray to and plead with the new King Salman Ibn Saud to cut oil production in his country.

Saudi Arabia holds the key to South Sudan finding its footing again in the community of nations. Meanwhile, the US government is just a mere spectator waiting for an opportunity from OPEC to wink so as to exploit the situation.

The US laissez faire system is unregulated and run by a myriad of greedy oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and others, competing for profits. They won’t cut anything till the invisible hand of the market reigns them out.

However, such intricacies make us to understand why President Kiir did that unremarkable thing to mourn the death of the KING to our economy.

That is the big reason why South Sudan should not go it alone but dance to the tune of other singers.

The commentator is an Economist. Reach him at

Critique of SPLM Reunification Agreement in Arusha

By: James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, JAN/23/2015, SSN;

The Agreement on the Reunification of the SPLM that was signed in January 21, 2015 in Arusha, Tanzania, suggests three problematic trends despite the fact that it is in the name of peace and reconciliation but invitation of more pressure on the principals.

First, the East African leaders are desperate to see peace being restored to the Republic of South Sudan even if this involves farce, contradictions and renewed conflict when the implementation stage arrives down from utopia.

Secondly, the generic content of the agreement leaves a lot to be desired in the level of political thinking and maturity from the SPLM’s factional cadres who negotiated it; you don’t see any amusing sense of rigorous intellectual work in that agreement.

The negotiators might have been pre-occupied with the psyche of ‘what will each of them tell Dr. John Garang in the land of death if SPLM disintegrates’. They seem not to care for the Republic of South Sudan, its people, other political parties, resources and future.

Thirdly, the fate of that agreement is linked to the long-awaited the success of Addis Ababa IGAD-led peace talks. That is, if Addis Ababa peace talks collapse, the Arusha reunification agreement will be declared null and void with regret of wasted resources and time.

Many available indications are not in favor of successful conclusion of Addis Ababa peace talks, particularly the issues of two standing armed forces in one country, management of oil money and government top positions. Thus, there is nothing yet to celebrate about Arusha agreement because it is not a break-through deal.

Oppositely, it is Addis Ababa awaited break-through that would make Arusha a celebrity. The cart is still placed in front of the horse to block it from moving. Hence, pessimism should reign via realism before optimism gets in!

The Critique:—

Articles 23 and 39 of the agreement made it hard for my throat to swallow and my stomach to digest the text. Nothing should be allowed to remain vague in-between if the SPLM leaders who converged in Arusha are sincere in establishing the SPLM-Reunited. Why should a reunified body still want to operate as different separate groups?

A party is never united until it has a unified leadership. The current destructible war was a result of the disunited SPLM leadership. We already had the benefits of doubts, especially from the case of SPLM-United of 1991 which was abandoned by Dr. Riek Machar in order for him to form SSIM.

Why repeat experimenting something whose results are known in advance and you expect a different result. Einstein will call this scientific insanity.

The two articles damage the core soul of the Arusha’s SPLM-Reunited beyond repair of CCM Secretary-General even if he builds a permanent home in Juba to follow-up the implementation.

The three SPLM factions shall remain as groups in the Political Bureau and in the Government since they shall be represented there equitably and proportionally respectively.

But perhaps, this is what the SPLM’s Arusha agreement calls ‘genuine pluralism’ (article 5). This will mean that no unity is yet around the corner for the entire leadership of the SPLM-Reunited, apart from tactics of coming to power and staying thereto intact using Machiavellian utilitarianism!


As far as there is term limits for holding offices of the SPLM’s National and States Chairpersons (article 30), nothing was said about the offices of the Secretary-General and other Secretariats. No term limits for them. Why? Perhaps, Pagan Amum, Anne Itto, Suzanne Jambo and other secretaries are going to remain the SPLM-SG and Secretaries for life. Lucky are they!


The SPLM showed no interest in promoting multi-party liberal democracy in the whole document though militarism and sectarianism was deplored. The document talked of pluralism only (article 5). That could be the reason why Hon. Awet Akot, Hon. Lual Deng and few other SPLM-Diehards would like to see the SPLM-DC abandoning its opposition role and merging with the SPLM-Reunited. At the end, the result will be a one-party state with pluralism of its wider membership. Is this the Republic of South Sudan we fought for?


There shall not be government elections on 30th June 2015. Article 19 puts peace before elections by deferring SPLM convention and other arrangements that necessitate participation in government elections. The lawsuit against holding elections that was announced by NEC, is now gaining momentum of more evidence in favor of the National Alliance of political parties and civil society organizations that are outside the current government.


We shall no longer see Gen. Paul Malong Awan chairing SPLM affairs of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State. Article 12 tells him so, though it did not as well prohibit Ambassadors from being SPLM card holders.

As we speak now, many Ambassadors of South Sudan in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation beat their chests of being loyal SPLM members, and they are deployed abroad and to strategic offices based on this manifest loyalty. For example, at the moment there is no any single head of diplomatic mission of South Sudan abroad who is not a declared SPLM loyalist.

The SPLM’s Arusha document had ignored totally this diplomatic anomaly while it tackled the case of armed forces. Diplomats are the unarmed army generals of a country in the forefront of the defense of foreign policy. South Sudan should not tolerate partisanship and sectional politicization in its diplomacy.


For the SPLM to apologize (article 2) for the unforgivable mess it created in South Sudan and for it to account the criminal convicts in its membership (article 11), is a notable acknowledgement of the critique some of us laid on the first signed framework in Arusha last year. What about the commanders and the criminals of corruption? Are they going to be accounted and unwelcome to the SPLM?


Articles 8 and 13 want the SPLM not to be separated from the government. The government is called SPLM’s Government rather than the Government of the Republic of South Sudan.

Why should we have a party government unless we are confirming to be a one-party state? The government should belong to all while the political party to its members only. The Westphalian nation-state dictates so. The two should not be mixed and exchanged at will. It shall look like forcing bull’s horns on a hornless donkey.


All in all, the SPLM didn’t hint to any move of changing its name within the declared reform agenda so that the reunited party becomes re-brandedly relevant to the Republic of South Sudan. So where is the SPLM-Reunited transitioning to, if it is not willing to separate from the Sudan in order for it to adapt to South Sudan? “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin.

Bye bye to Arusha even without bringing home its real spirit of 1967. All eyes should now be starred towards Addis Ababa, because that is where the salvation of South Sudan is going to come from, if at all, it is to remain a lucky country in the world.

Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer and public analyst in the area of politics. He lives in Juba and can be reached at

Cessation of Hostility One Year On & Proliferation of Insecurity in South Sudan

Press Release:
Apart from being the top-ranked country in the world in terms of the Fragile State Index (Fund for Peace, 2014), and being classified as the most corrupt nation in the world (Transparency International, 2014), South Sudan is now a nation where no one wants to be, except for those who benefit from crises!

The FSI puts South Sudan second (score of 9.9 out of 10) to Afghanistan in terms of insecurity, and second (9.9 out of 10) to DR Congo in terms of human rights abuses and the rule of law. Together with Syria, Central African Republic and Somalia, it is a country with the highest number of refugees and IDPs!

Today marks exactly one year since the signing of the IGAD-brokered Cessation of Hostilities Agreement by the current warring factions in South Sudan. This commitment has proven a farce and a joke.

War has not only accelerated, but living conditions have continued to become unbearable even in government controlled areas, including Juba the capital city! Ethnically motivated killings and cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians have gone on with impunity.

In the past five days alone, murder of civilians and pillaging of villages close to Juba and in Magwi County were committed unabated. The culprits who committed mass arrests and torture of citizens, including school going teenagers in Loa and Nimule towns, have not been brought to book until today!

Even when two business persons in Nimule were assassinated in their houses at night, the government in Juba is un-alarmed! It is also possible that the reported killings by Mundari cattle herders of civilians barely 72 hours ago, will go away unpunished!

Those killed at their doorsteps in Juba town or dragged outside their house compounds and murdered, are just cases too many to list! Life is quickly becoming hopeless for citizens in South Sudan!

When a nation is plagued with such calamities, there is only one conclusion: it is gripped with serious leadership flops. Either its leaders have lost direction, or they pay no attention to the ‘sinking ship’.

After all, this is a country adjudged by governance experts of the Fund for Peace to score 10 out of 10 in being run by ‘Factionalized Elites.’ These are people addicted to looting of the national coffers.

We don’t have the luxury of space to enumerate all the excesses of these elites. What we care to point out here is that the Government in Juba is being allowed carte blanche to go on with plunging the country!

This is a government that has even the audacity to declare elections within six months, despite many dissenting voices and despite the biting reality that the environment is not conducive for any national elections!

When will the UN, the AU and other concerned bodies say, ‘we have seen enough of South Sudan and this must be put to a stop’?!!

Rally for Peace and Democracy (South Sudan)
The RPD Interim Secretariat
REF: RPD/PR-21/15
22 January 2015

Two Years in Leadership of Lakes state Govt: Fate & Survival with glaring insecurity, Can they be resolved? – YES!

Op-ed to Maj. Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol. QUOTE: “People of good will, who are the vast majority, have the challenge to be open and honest, and to turn a deaf ear to the shrill cries of the irresponsible few on the lunatic fringe.” Martin Luther King, Jr., January 1967.

By Mabior Abraham, SOUTH SUDAN, JAN/22/2015, SSN;

I intend to address the following issues to Maj. General Matur Chut Dhuol, Governor of Lakes state. Gov., Lakes state crises are daring and need deep-soul searching by you and people there at home, aboard and other South Sudanese here in the country and across the globe.

I am reacting to your pessimistic remarks on Sunday 11th January 2015, when you were addressing ESC church congregation in relation to degenerating security situation of the state under your administration. You told your audience that “Lakes state insecurity is no longer to be controlled for you have had tried everything at your disposal including spear-masters, but nothing has improved or changed, however, it continues to deteriorate and worsened by day and hour. It is only God that will intervene, otherwise, let’s wait for the worse scenarios ahead!”

These remarks are a manifestation that you can no longer manage Lakes state affairs with this current falling insecurity. Why don’t you tender in your resignation letter to the President Kiir, so that he could decide of who can next try? One people (of Lakes State) have dripped enough bloodshed for no good reason over ten years now (Jan. 2005 – Jan. 2015).

For those who are not familiar with Lakes state crises, and problems; they did emerge immediately after the signing of the CPA in 2005. This is because during liberation period, a lot of fundamental problems have been buried, left unresolved or wrongly judged. And with signing of CPA, these issues were left unattended to. I have been following.

With many Governors appointed for, and removed from Lakes state by President Salva Kiir, because of the same problem of insecurity that none of them did indeed set a premier resolution process to dig out the root causes and move on to resolve them amicably, brute brutal force has been used as means to determine these insecurities, instead of trying head on fairly and for the common good of all.

Maj. Gen. Matur, your attempts in these crises resolution seem to be not honest, and instead you became the crueler to these crises, and being blamed cross the board as originator for some of these catastrophes when you were a commander of Rumbek County during the liberation era. You have used ruthless means in your attempts to stamp out these predicaments, for you did step on wrong groups or bad techniques, thinking these means would quell these insecurities, but instead, the situation has deteriorated so wickedly.

Gov. Matur Chut, you have perverted it when you have had done the following:

1. On appointment, people of Lakes state had great hopes that you would use unbiased approach as seasoned soldier of our liberation for the common good of all, but you allowed politicians to shift you to take side. Instead of using rule of law, as it is to resolve these increasing problems, you then dismembered Lakes state division commander, accusing him of your previous differences when you were soldiers in SPLA of Zalan battalion, and that you can’t work with him as long as you are the Governor of Lakes state. SPLA GHQrs Juba heeded to your demand, and kept the commander away from your state administration.
2. You too sidelined National Security Service men, and you did refuse to take their fundamental pieces of advice rather than asking them for assistance. Now, you have no work of national security as one key security apparatus in any national affairs resolution.
3. Police is nowhere in Lakes state. You are not paying them fairly nor equipped them, and at some point, their salaries are taken away. Why? They have no vehicles to attend to security needs at all time in counties or during emergencies. You did abuse them during parades, ill-treated others or threatened some of them for dismissal from service; thus, they are no longer out for truth or have no moral left for duty. Few of them are either sellers of ammunitions and guns to meet their family needs or are divided up behind their sections for support; hence these crises are fuelled to this unprecedented stage in Lakes.
4. You have not spared Judiciary with all its levels of Local Government. Where are the salaries of all Chiefs? You did instruct the Local Government ministry that chiefs’ salaries would only be derived from collection of fines they settle in their communities. Can chiefs have court spaces to fine communities’ wrongdoers when they are also targets of revenge killings?
5. You closed state assembly indefinitely. With legislature shut and MPs at disarray, who will formulate laws that could be used to apprehend culprits, investigate and sentence them to whatsoever form of punishment? MPs are representatives of their constituents, who will talk to them if not they – MPS?
6. Commissioners of all Counties do not have any single power (or soldiers) to use without your restrict orders. Are you not everything for the state?

Can you be the chief, the soldier (SPLA, National Security, Police), Judge, and MP. Are you not everything for the state? You have become the solitary and absolute power-wielding boss, you and you alone! WHY?

Did we liberation this country collectively and to be ruled by one man with ex-conclusion of others? Is this not the same tyranny that we took up arms to fight against and, which led to our country seceding because the centralized system in Khartoum couldn’t be changed! Remember, oppression has no color and no specific group, other than – that person who believes in one-man state!

One man can’t do all of these even if Jesus Christ comes back!

Without these institutions to be part of your state leadership such as SPLA State Commander, National Security Chief, Judges, communities’ chiefs, who have run away for their lives), and MPs. You have become the sole player. Can anything better come from Lakes state, other than death each day, because the cattle youths have the power of arm?

I am very afraid your excellency, that if this situation can not change within two months, many rural schools would be closed because of this insecurity, and which has started since June 2014 that many villages have been deserted with many reports I am reading each day gearing to this end. People have forsaken their villages because of this anxiety and have already thronged Rumbek town.

Your Excellency, as your niece’s son, I have much stake in people of Lakes state and their welfare, thus, I have decided to take this step and path (put in writing) to walk you through of these crises are unfolding under your state administration. I hope, by highlighting these troubles is my wise choice rather keeping to myself, and talk away on phone with those that I know there, for I won’t hesitate to talk my mind when Lakes state are being ill-talked here and in Juba. I would rather express them to you as Governor of the state; instead of sending my condolences to all those who have lost their loved-ones in this unnecessary crises.

When Gony heartless youths raped women and girls of Thuyic in August 2014 immediately after the murder of your brother, Paramount Chief Aparer Chut, there have been no culprits apprehended to this day. This act (rape) has already spread to other counties, and most specifically to Rumbek Center County. For no action has been taken, against Athoi members of Gony! Are you not covering up the sins of your section-men? Let justice begins from home if you think you are a leader for Lakes.

Rape is a capital crime punishable by death in most countries of our today’s world! You have condoned it General as even it isn’t an act of intent with a lot of suffering to those innocent women and girls! Is it a recipe for more troubles in Athoi and Lakes state if not attend to. General?

General, there are over five hundred (500) prisoners in Rumbek Correctional Prison alone. What about those in Cueibet, Yirol and throughout the counties and have not been tried. WHY?

One more important element that led this unprecedented destruction of both lives and property has been your abusive talks and arrogance that sow you many enemies than friends. Can this attitude get stopped?

My piece of advise:

Your excellency, if you can make peace between your communities of Athoi (Gony and Thuyic), that you won’t be surprised other communities of three counties of Rumbek will make peace as well, once Athoi’s sections are seen walking together, eating together, and marrying their sons and daughters as one people. Just like when your late father, Chief Chut Dhuol Mathiang, whose time Athoi community was a symbol of peace, and all sections of Athoi called him their chief.

Your community of Athoi, are the drivers of all, whether bad or good, and that everything happening in Lakes state, has compliment from them and would end once they say yes or no. Are your people not the troublemakers of Lakes state and other communities of Agaar in particular? Get them make peace!

God save Lakes state and South Sudan! Let peace prevail once again in this part of my country – South Sudan, and forgive the sins of my maternal uncles in four counties of Rumbek and Cueibet! The crises are too much to bear.

The author is a concern South Sudanese national from Jonglei state. I grew up in Rumbek – Barpakeny during our liberation period, and have stayed there since 1993 — 2009. My mother comes from Lakes state, and in particular from Rumbek East County. I am reachable on / Tel: 0977070806

Kiir, Machar agree to re-unify fractured SPLM & heal war wounds in South Sudan

By: PSCU, NationMedia, ARUSHA, JAN/22/2015, SSN;

South Sudan peace talks got a major breakthrough on Wednesday as rival factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed an agreement aimed at reunifying the historical party.

Intense efforts spearheaded by regional leaders, which saw the Arusha meeting get into late night hours, marks a turning point in the bloody conflict.

(In Summary:
***** Among the issues agreed upon by both parties is the restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan and, and the demand for SPLM leadership to make a public apology to the people of South Sudan for all the atrocities committed during the bloody conflict.
***** Under the signed agreement, SPLM leaders are required to reform and transform the political party by formulating and embracing policies that allow the culture of tolerance and ideals of democracy to take root.
***** They should also formulate and implement policies that will abolish tribalism, sectarianism and militarism in politics and promote political pluralism.
The pact bans those found to have committed atrocities during the conflict from holding public office

The signing ceremony at Ngurdoto Hotel in Arusha was witnessed by an array of regional leaders including the host, President Jakaya Kikwete, President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), President Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar and Mr Deng Alor Kuol signed the historic agreement after SPLM Intra-Party Dialogue Summit.
The agreement puts the young African nation back on the path of peace and development.


Among the issues agreed upon by both parties is the restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan and, and the demand for SPLM leadership to make a public apology to the people of South Sudan for all the atrocities committed during the bloody conflict.

Under the signed agreement, SPLM leaders are required to reform and transform the political party by formulating and embracing policies that allow the culture of tolerance and ideals of democracy to take root.

They should also formulate and implement policies that will abolish tribalism, sectarianism and militarism in politics, and promote political pluralism.

The pact bans those found to have committed atrocities during the conflict from holding public office.

The SPLM leaders agreed to implement and comply with all provisions of the agreement and use the IGAD-led peace talks in Addis Ababa to expedite the peace process.

The leaders are also required to initiate and implement a comprehensive programme for national unity, peace, reconciliation, healing and harmony amongst the people of South Sudan.

The three factional SPLM groups are required to embrace reunification and reconciliation of the party leadership and membership.


The party’s general secretariat shall be restructured to streamline its offices and functions to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

The National Liberation Council, the leaders agreed, shall review the contentious provisions in the draft SPLM constitution to ensure internal democracy within party structures, before its presentation to the National Convention.

The country’s Political Bureau is also required to develop a party leadership code of ethics and disciplinary procedures to be applied and upheld by all members irrespective of their positions.

The term-limit for the SPLM national and state chairpersons of the party shall be two terms of five years each, the leaders agreed.

The reunified SPLM shall abide by the terms and spirit of the IGAD Peace Agreement.

The party shall also form a transitional government in which all SPLM groups and other political parties shall participate proportionally so as to end the war and establish sustainable peace.

Salva Kiir’s Attack on His Own Legitimacy Claim

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, South Sudanese, JAN/21/2015, SSN;

When the war started in December 2013, Salva Kiir, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Michael Makuei, Ateny Wek Ateny, and many others could be seen on televisions, local or international, talking about Salva as a legitimately elected president, or the government as a legitimately elected one. Beginning from August of last year, IGAD joined the singing and started referring to Salva as the “elected, incumbent president”.

The SPLM/A’s response to this claim has been consistently that Salva and his government are not elected ones. Rather, they are constitutional. Any claim of legitimacy should spring from the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011. Using the 2010 election as the source of his legitimacy would be futile attempt to twist an obvious reality.

The 2010 Elections
In April 2010, the Republic of the Sudan conducted national elections for all positions, except for those of the County Commissioners. This was because the Interim Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan and the National Election law did not recognize such positions.

The positions to which the law authorized election included the position of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan. Salva Kiir was elected to this position as head of the autonomous regional government. This was in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The national election law gave the holders of the elected positions five years to serve before the next elections. The anticipated time for the next elections was April 2015, and this is still the case for the Republic of the Sudan.

The Independence in 2011
In fulfillment of the provisions of the CPA, South Sudan conducted a referendum in January 2011 on whether it should remain part of the Republic of the Sudan, or it should secede from the union to form an independent state of its own. The people of South Sudan overwhelmingly chose secession over the unity of the old Sudan.

On July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was born as the newest or youngest state in Africa in particular and the world in general. On that day, a new and independent transitional constitution was promulgated to establish the new state. It is this constitution that gave Salva Kiir his new four-year mandate as the President of the Republic of South Sudan. As such, his term began counting from that day to the 9th of July 2015.

The Legitimacy Question
Any one elected or appointed under a constitutional provision can claim legitimacy. However, such legitimacy is usually bestowed up on certain conditions and behavioral requirements. Once the person ceases to meet those requirements, or once those conditions disappear, legitimacy can be lost. This is not different with Salva Kiir.

Under the Interim Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan, 2005 and the Interim Constitution of the Government of Southern Sudan, 2005, Salva Kiir was elected to administer the region for five years. His mandate was to last up to April 2015. Within that period his legitimacy would run uninterrupted if he did not commit any behavioral mistake, or if he did not cease to function due to other conditions.

However, Salva’s time was interrupted on July 9, 2011 when South Sudan broke away from the rest of the Sudan. As a result, condition (remaining as part of the old Sudan) disappeared. Allegiance to remains as the current Republic of the Sudan ended, and a new allegiance to the new state with a new constitution began.

This condition ended the April 2010 mandate, as it ended the former autonomous status of what was then one of the regions of the Sudan. That mandate went together with the electoral legitimacy, for you could not have one without the other.

Under the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva was given a new mandate as the President of a new sovereign state. The new constitution gave the president four years before a new election could take place under a new and permanent constitution. The new term and mandate gave a legitimacy that would run through July 9, 2015.

The End of the Constitutional Legitimacy
Salva Kiir started the process of ending his constitutional legitimacy, leading to the current situation, a long time ago. He intentionally violated the constitution here and there, and a step-by-step process. The last step was the eruption of violence on December 15, 2013. Some of these violations are discussed below.

1. Appointments of Ministers
What I believe to be the first violation of the new Constitution came after the proclamation of Independence. Salva appointed ministers to his cabinet and sent their names to the newly reconstituted legislative assembly in a sealed envelope. He only needed the assembly to approve what was in the envelope without seeing exactly whose names were on the paper for approval. This went against Article 113 which gives the National Legislative Assembly the power to approve presidential nominations of ministers.

Article 113 (2) states that “Appointment of the Ministers of the National Government shall be approved by a resolution of the National Legislative Assembly adopted by a simple majority vote of all members.” This gives the Assembly the power to scrutinize the nominee to see if they meet certain constitutional criteria as provided in sub-Article 3.

Sub-Article 3 provides that “Ministers of the National Government shall be selected with due regard to the need for inclusiveness based on integrity, competence, ethnic and regional diversity and gender.” The act of forcing the Assembly to approve a list without scrutinizing individual nominees before they could become ministers did not give the Assembly the chance to meet such a constitutional obligation. It follows that the process was unconstitutional.

2. Recruiting and Training of Tribal Militia

The other significant violation came with the recruitment of a personal tribal militia, which has become known as the ‘Gel Weng’. Article 151 (3) of the Constitution does not provide him with the option of organizing his own private army without a provision of a law. It states, “No person or persons shall raise any armed or paramilitary force in South Sudan except in accordance with this Constitution and the law.”

If he saw an urgent need for his personal militia, then Salva should have gone to the National Legislature to get some sort of approval or some legislative act of authorization, as this type of undertaking needed a law and money, and the National Legislature supposedly holds the national purse as stated in Article 55 (3) (d), read together with Articles 87 and 88.

Article 55 (3) (d) says that the National Legislature has the competence to, among other things, “…authorize annual allocation of resources and revenue, in accordance with Article 87 of this Constitution…”

While Article 87 talks about allocation of resources and revenues, Article 88 talks about general budget proposals and estimates to be presented by the President to the National Legislature for approval and enactment of an appropriation bill.

Therefore, the whole undertaking of recruiting, training and deploying the Gel-Weng was very unconstitutional.

3. Removal of Governors

In 2013, Salva started revoing state Governors allegedly exercising a constitutional provision. Article 101 (r) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan allows removal of a Governor only when there is a crisis in the state. It states that the President may “…remove a state Governor and/or dissolve a state legislative assembly in the event of a crisis in the state that threatens national security and territorial integrity…”

In Lakes State, there was a crisis—an insecurity that remains to exist as of current. Salva removed Chol Tong on the pretext that there was insecurity in his state. In Unity State, there was no insecurity of any sort. Yet, he removed Gen. Taban Deng Gai without explanation. Those who were aware of the political differences between Salva and the two gentlemen knew that the removals were politically motivated. The Constitution does not provide for politically motivated removals.

After removal, the Constitution provides for temporary replacement, which Salva did by appointing care-taker Governors. After that, an election has to take place within sixty days. Article 101 (s) states that the President shall “…appoint a state care-taker Governor who shall prepare for elections within sixty days in the state where the Governor has been removed or the state legislative assembly so dissolved in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the relevant state constitution and the law…”

This provision of the Constitution has not been fully honored by Salva Kiir. He appointed care-taker Governors who have served beyond sixty-day Constitutional requirement. Elections have not been organized ever since the care-taker Governors were appointed.

In addition to the two initial care-taker Governors, he has appointed two more care-taker ones, replacing Kuol Manyang and Paul Malong Awan, respectively. Therefore, as of now, there are four Governors who are serving unconstitutionally. Their mandates do not stem from the Constitution. They owe their legitimacy to Salva Kiir, not to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.

4. Taking and Retaining Political Power

At the beginning of the violence, Salva and his group were constantly talking about a coup plot that they had discovered and foiled. They kept talking about their murderous acts as protecting the Constitution, or against unconstitutional act of trying to take power by force. Article 4 (1) states that “No person or group of persons shall take or retain control of State power except in accordance with this Constitution.” Two words: ‘take’ and ‘retain’ are very important elements of this provision.

As their statements reveal, they are doing what they are doing, pretending to be preventing unconstitutional takeover of the political power. But, all evidence point to the lack of violent takeover on the part of Salva’s political opponents. Instead, Salva and his group are the ones trying to retain power through violence, which is unconstitutional.

5. The Deaths of the More than 20,000 Ethnic Nuer in Juba

The deaths of the more than 20,000 civilians began on the 15th of December and it continued until all the remaining ones had to take refuge in the UNMISS compounds. They were specifically targeted on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds. Every indication points to such an act as premeditated. This act of unjustly killing people went against the very Constitution that they claim to protect.

Under the Bill of Rights, Article 11 of the Constitution talks about life and human dignity. It states, “Every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.” The way these people were murdered was such that they had no right to life, no human dignity and the integrity of their persons was never respected. The law simply failed to protect them as their lives were taken arbitrarily on the streets, in their homes and in their cars.

It was an ultimate act against the Constitution.

Now, Is Salva A Legitimate President?

I shall begin by saying that Salva is not an elected president, and any claim of legitimacy should not come from the 2010 election. It follows that he is, instead, a constitutional president. Any claim of legitimacy should come from the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.

However, by his behavior in office, he has eroded away all the constitutional legitimacy that was bestowed on him by the Constitution. Right now, he only stays in power because he can. His attempt to organize an election to legitimize his rule so as to meet the constitutional deadline is a sign that all along, he has been talking of himself as an elected president, just to fool the people and win their support—internally and externally. He really knows that he is not an elected president.

After all, he admitted his lack of electoral legitimacy by stating, quoted on the 13th of January 2015, that “Those of Riek [Machar] and their friends are trying to hold the country back from going for elections so that they keep the government in hang, so that when the term of this government comes to an end in July, they come out and say you have no legitimacy, which I don’t think our people will accept”.

He further stated, “The simple reason for going for elections is to avoid power vacuum and losing legitimacy.” That is one big brutal attack on his own electoral legitimacy claim, as it is clear from his two statements that he is after the constitutional mandate when he talks of the loss of legitimacy in July.

Another problem that Salva is facing is lacking of things to say. The only thing that he can always come up with is some intelligible attack on Dr. Riek Machar. In his statement, he talks of “Those of Riek Machar and their friends…” as “…trying to hold the country back from going for elections so that they keep the government in hang…” Before Salva’s statement, Riek Machar had not made any statement since the talk of the election began this month.

It was only after his (Salva’s) statement that James Gatdet Dak, the Press Secretary of Dr. Riek Machar, was quoted on the 17th of January 2015 as having made a statement to this effect. He was quoted to have said that “’Our leadership rejects this and asks the South Sudanese and the international community to reject it.’”

So, where does Riek Machar come in, in Salva’s statement? He just attacked Riek Machar before Riek Machar said anything. Was he trying to pre-empt so that he could later say, see, I told you that Riek Machar was against the election? It was just a sign that he was not even comfortable with what he was saying, and was trying to blame someone for something.

Anyway, it also shows that he knows that he has completely struck down his constitutional legitimacy by ruling the country in contravention with the Constitution. That is why electoral legitimacy has always taken precedent over constitutional one.

So, if not a legitimate president by election, and not a legitimate president by constitution, can Salva really still go around and talk of himself as legitimate? Legitimacy comes and goes. When it is there, then it is there. But once it goes, it no longer exists. Just because it was for Salva, that doesn’t mean that it will always exist for him. He can try as many as he wants to run an election to restore it. But, he will not regain it by running the elections that he and his group are talking about.

I personally believe that the elections that they are talking about in Juba will never take place. Talking about them only betrays Salva’s usual claim of legitimacy on the basis of the April 2010 election, a thing that places his supporters in a tongue-tied position at a time when their only point of support is electoral legitimacy.

There are many reasons for me to take the position that the elections will never happen. I will talk about these reasons in my next article. In the meantime, let us all keep listening to Juba on this issue.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at

Madi Community USA condemns Nimule killings of community members


We the Ma’di Community in the United States of America are deeply saddened, angered and aggrieved by the cold-blooded murder of our prominent business community members Mr. Daudi Kisire and Mr. Gwanya, in Nimule, Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan on January 18th 2015.

We reject the killings and intimidation of our people in our own land. The Ma’di people are a peace loving people and, this is a well-established fact in South Sudan.

We would like to remind the nation, the world and the Human Rights groups that these killings have come at the heel of a massive security deployment in our ancestral homeland. On January 11, 2015, a midnight house to house arrests was conducted by the Juba government with over 200 civilians snatched in the dark of the night, out of their homes; some were children as young as 13 years old. Four priests were also arrested and detained.

We are yet again painfully reminded of the killing of our Paramount Chief, George Livio Ajugo that occurred in Sept 2013, leading to untold sufferings inflicted by the Juba government on our Youths and Community Leaders, in the name of investigating the crime, as is typical for tyrants, through tortures and unconstitutional detentions without charges and trials.

The Ma’di Community worldwide condemns in the strongest terms the killings of our people in cold blood in the name of maintaining security. We call upon the UNMISS and the International Community to take serious note of what is happening in Ma’di land and investigate the killings of this two prominent businessmen. We also call on the Government of Salva Kiir and his security apparatus to stop the killings and the arbitrary arrests of the Ma’di people in their own land.

Ma’di Community in the United States of America
January 19, 2015
From: Andrew Oweny
Country: South Sudan

Message Body:
Nimule 18 Jan 2015; By Andew Oweny: South Sudan Liberty News has sadly and regrettably learnt the tragedy shooting dead of Daud Kisire and Gwanya the owner of Motherland lodge in Nimule. The incident occurred at around 7:45 pm south Sudan local time.

Eye witnesses who have heard the gunshot couldn’t confirm the identity of the gunman, but immediate friends and relatives of both men have pointed fingers to government security officers, and neighbors who spoke in panic and asked for their identities to be concealed have confirmed seeing unidentified man running in the direction of Abila shortly after hearing the gunshots.

Some people in the close vicinity were terrified with the tragedy cold blooded murdered of the two well known Ma’di businessmen in what appeared to be a normal evening. They said there is nothing suspicious been reported and the two men have not received any death threat to their lives. Closed friend of two men said the killing could be related to business dispute with group of Dinka military men who have business partner with late Daud Kisire and Gwanya could have been an innocent victim.

Right now in small town of Nimule this suddenly killing of two Ma’di prominent businessmen have taken many in surprise and has brought back some fresh memory of the killing of late paramount chief of Nimule Boma, Livio Ajugo George, who was gunned down by unknown gunmen in September 2013, till to date his killer/s remained unidentified, but the local blamed his tragedy murdered on Dinka Internally Displaced persons/ IDP in Nimule, after the killing of late chief government has reacted forcibly by rounding up innocent youth and community elders.

Right now people are afraid that innocent people will found themselves in unknown environment, the relationship between the host community and their uninvited guests can be describe as unfriendly and tense given the host community are subjected into constant harassment by the IDPs roaming with guns been backed up by some elements of Dinka security personnel and government elites in Nimule and Juba.

Right now people are very shocked and the situation in Nimule is tense as security personnel are immediately been deployed at the scene, and Nimule is under curfew and what remain unknown to the local people is how the government will react to this latest killing of the two well known Ma’di businessmen, who were also believed to have bulk contracts of lucrative business venture with government elites both in Juba and Torit.

Andrew Oweny

South Sudan Liberty News

South Sudan: The need to eradicate tribal politics & dictatorship

By: James Gatdet Dak, SPLM/A-IO, JAN/18/2015, SSN;

Oxford dictionary defines tribalism as a behavior or attitude which is based on being loyal to a tribe or other social group; or the state of being organized into tribe or tribes.
By that social definition allow me to add that tribal politics is about the identity of a given group or tribe that is based on common ethnic identity or cultural factors that are used to induce the group into a functioning political unit subtly or in a dynamic pattern.

A tribal grouping although based on a defined or understood interest may have some disagreements on how to express a common purpose but will, likely, ultimately rally behind that common purpose.

Formations of groups or tribes for mere social reasons have some advantages, such as clear communication and the establishment of traditions that are expected to be observed for tranquility and social development.

However, tribal politics always has bold negative side as it creates a barrier between the various other tribes that make up a given societal political constituency in a given country.

The consequence of this is that ascending to or maintaining political power in many instances becomes less about presenting attractive ideas such as visions, principles, policies and programs that are for the welfare of the collective all, but rather about manipulating tribal political alliance.

Groups and individuals therefore concentrate on struggle for influence, position and money, and in most cases play along without concerns about the consequences for cohesiveness and national development, which is being ignored and eroded.

This phenomenon also carries the danger that societies may become oligarchies by default, as an outgrowth of the shifting alliances of tribal leaders.

Thus, groups or individuals with a strong sense of tribal unity and identity can benefit from kin selection behavior such as common property and shared resources.

The tendency of these tribal members to unite against an outside tribe and the ability to act violently and prejudicially against that outside tribe is in this situation likely seen to be boosting the chances of survival in prolonging the reaping of the fruits of that unity of tribal purpose.

South Sudan Crisis
In the light of the above description one may confidently say the ongoing crisis in South Sudan emanated mainly from the curse of tribal politics.

A group of tribally motivated elites, which became desperate to scapegoat and avoid genuine national issues, unfortunately bent on entrenching dictatorship in order to dominate political power and control the country’s resources at the expense of the rest in the country?

Prior to the 15 December 2013 violence, cues were clearly written on the wall.
This group led by the president of the Republic, chairman of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and commander-in-chief of the organized forces – in government – was driving at it.

General Salva Kiir, in a seemingly mindset which combined tribalism and dictatorship, perfectly concluded his plan by first dismissing reformist leaders from his government and further dismantling organs of the ruling party.

In that he unconstitutionally dissolved the SPLM structures including the Political Bureau (PB) and the National Liberation Council (NLC).

He strangely further declared that only his office survived that unconstitutional undertaking and that the secretariat should single-handedly report to him. All these he did as the party’s national convention was to be conducted.

Coincidentally or by design, his action was more or less a replica of what he previously accused our late chairman of 10 years ago with these remarks.

“The Chairman killed the national Executive Council (NEC) by creating the leadership Council. But there is no provision in the Convention for a ‘Leadership Council’. Does he want to revive the Political Military High Command? The Leadership Council creates a situation where all are directly reporting to the Chairman – including SPLM County Secretaries. When I mentioned these facts, they should not be construed to be my personal or family problems. Those around the Chairman don’t tell him the opinion of the public. The Chairman is everything, from a finance officer to one at the lowest level,” Salva Kiir Mayardit, from the minutes of Rumbek meeting in November 2004 while reconciling with the late chairman, Dr John Garang de Mabior.

As if he was not the same leader who later on became president and administered tribalism as a silent criteria for selections in employments to public and civil service jobs, in which more than 90% of the civil servants at the ministry of finance, for example, came from one tribe; and as if 90% of the culprits and beneficiaries of the infamous Dura Saga were not from his home region, he further accused the late chairman.

“…Corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate….,” also from the Rumbek meeting.

General Kiir in that meeting also clearly showed that his primary interest and obligation as a leader was to first and foremost look after the welfare of his tribesmen or region when he stunned the same meeting with this anti-nationalistic statement.

“I assure you that the allegation that I am against peace is not true. I am really for peace so that the International Community could rescue our suffering people. People of Bahr El Ghazal have suffered too much from repeated famine and from the Arab militias – and for these reasons I am the first to embrace peace to relief them from suffering,” Salva Kiir.

When in 2013 he felt that he was losing popularity in the Political Bureau as colleagues declared intention to constitutionally contest for his chair, General Kiir went to his home region and uttered tribal remarks in which he asked his kinsmen whether or not they would allow “their leadership to be taken away.”

The answer was a big NO followed by an assurance that the homeboys would defend “their” leadership with bloody iron fist.

From that moment he relentlessly continued to play up threats against the Nuer community from which a leading reformist and challenger, Dr Riek Machar, hails.

Immediate recruitment of tribal private militias was then entrusted to the then governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Paul Malong Awan.

The recruitments ensued in the president’s regional states of Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal without the knowledge and consent of the then army’s Chief of General Staff, General James Hoth Mai.

This is the private militia group which teamed up with the presidential guards and carried out the targeted massacre of Nuer unarmed civilians in the capital, Juba.

General Awan was later on given the new task as army chief in recognition of his role in the recruitments of the tribal militia group and the subsequent massacre.

Thousands of the Nuer civilians butchered inside their houses and in the streets of Juba for many days knew nothing or had nothing to do with the political debates in the SPLM.

They were simply targeted due to sharing ethnicity with the leader who happened to come from their tribe.

I want to reiterate by underlining that before the 15 December crisis, reformist leaders were much concerned about the prevailing state of tribalism, insecurity, corruption, stagnant economy, poor foreign relations and lack of vision and direction in the ruling party.

The leaders were also from different ethnic groups, of whom members from the Dinka tribe were the majority.

However, the ongoing challenge to democracy in South Sudan is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of tribal politics to promote narrow tribal interests. This is tribalism.

This is a worrying trend given its obvious negative consequences. The 15 December tribally motivated violence by Salva Kiir and his accomplices revealed the extent to which tribal forces could deny freedom, democracy and development and quickly plunge the country into civil war.

The regime would argue that their blood tainted administration recognizes inclusivity in ethnicity. But this is just a coated cover on a bitter pill.

It is crystal clear that elite leaders in Juba have exploited tribal loyalty, coupled with the treason of surrendering the country’s partial sovereignty to foreign agents to advance personal gains.

These unsecure leaders also engage in patronage to these foreign agents and continue to dwell on parochial interests at the expense of the suffering masses.

In essence, tribal chauvinism and practices have occupied a vacuum created by lack of strong democratic institutions in the country.

South Sudan needs peace and introduction of various reforms including political reforms under an able leadership so as to build genuine democratic institutions and viable political parties that compete on the basis of ideas, not tribal groupings, as foundations for political platforms and competitions.

There should also be concerted efforts to organize and step up civic education among the populace as well as create a common identity for South Sudanese with the aim to discourage tribalism and dictatorship and instill nationalism and democratic values in the minds of the people.

We should not allow the gains of the decades of our collective struggle for freedom, democracy, justice, equality and prosperity, etc to be swept under the carpet by these unremorseful elite leaders in Juba.

We should be one people, free, secure, equal, prosperous and happy.
The struggle continues…and may God bless South Sudan!

The author is a Spokesperson in the Office of the Chairman, SPLM/SPLA. The opinionated contents in the article are however his personal views. He can be reached at

South Sudan Election 2015, One-man’s Ideology!

By: Peter Gai Manyuon, South Sudan, JAN/18/2015, SSN;

South Sudan Government said on 16th January 2015, it has fully prepared to go ahead with planned elections despite the United States and other foreign countries refusing to support the ballot. South Sudan’s foreign affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, called on the international community to work with South Sudan, describing the decision as disappointing.

On the other hand, the electoral commission head, Abednego Akok Kacuol vowed that the elections would go ahead as planned in accordance with the country’s Transitional Constitution.

He assured that the polls would be free and fair, despite criticisms from some political parties and civil society organizations who want peace prioritized before the elections.

The question, which is clicking in people’s minds, is, what is the reason for government of South Sudan claiming to follow the constitution when it was the violation of the constitution that has taken South Sudan to zero level internationally and regionally as per now?

How can one-man interest destroy the demand of all South Sudanese people?

In reality, South Sudanese sometimes are comedians by nature. They sometimes said controversial things that they don’t contextualize/conceptualize first on what might affect people in the Country in the near future.

Most of South Sudanese leaders don’t think for peaceful co-existence of society but rather advocating for the disintegration of society into disarray!

More interestingly, if South Sudanese leaders especially the opposition and government have sense of togetherness and patriotism about their country, why should they unite first before elections?

Very disappointing that most of South Sudanese leaders only think about their stomachs not general public!

Ideally, agenda related to the elections in South Sudan needs proper analytical thinking from all the people because it is not easy to carry out general elections when there are very many burning issues that need re-settlement at first before anything.

Logically, what kind of election could be carried out when thousands of civilians have been displaced? What election is Juba government talking about when half of the population has been massacred in Juba in 2013?

What will help South Sudanese in the election process when Greater Upper Nile region is destroyed by two warring parties?

Who will participate in the election when thousands are under United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) protection? What kind of shamelessness and hopelessness is with Juba government?

Does President Kiir Mayardit and his cabinet have sense of humanity or their senses are lost? Is President and his Parliamentarians good mentally, psychologically or they want serious diagnosis from specialized medical doctors?

Truly speaking, if people have sense of humanity, what kind of election could be held when the entire Nation is in mess from National government to the states level? Do South Sudanese who are in the Electoral Commission have mental disorder or they are forced by something else?

The Chairperson of Electoral Commission of South Sudan is advocating for elections to be carried out soon in the Republic of South Sudan, when he is aware that there is civil war that has been going on and still going on in the Greater Upper Nile Region and some parts in
Bhar-Elgazal and Equatoria respectively.

Possibly, elections are supposed to come when two parties answer the reason of killings innocent civilians in South Sudan especially from Bentiu, Malakal, Bor and Juba where thousands have been massacred based on ethnicity by both sides.

President Kiir and his group MUST answer the killing of civilians at the International Criminal Court (ICC) first unless otherwise the world is happy with the genocide carried out in Juba by (Gelweng) of Kiir Mayardit and Malong Awan who is the current Chief of General Staff of the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA)-Juba in South Sudan.

Obviously, the people who are supposed to face charges for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in South Sudan are only seven individuals, the rests will come afterward.

But don’t ask the author about the names and titles of the seven individuals!

Besides, if elections are going to be carried out in all ten states of the Republic of South Sudan, will elections be free and fair or the 2010 malpractices will happen again, where Taban Deng Gai of Unity State, Kuol Manyang of Jonglei, Wani Konga of Central Equotoria, Malong Awan of Northern Bhar-Elgazal were imposed on the Citizens/public by the SPLM government of South Sudan?

Hence, if elections are to be held in South Sudan this year as some people who are not informed upstairs are advocating for, will the elections be free and fair from the National Government to the states Governments or will insurgencies increase and take over the government by force?

In summary, no one globally, regionally and nationally is of the view of carrying out elections in the Republic of South Sudan in 2015 except some few people who run the affairs of the country as tribal, family agenda/manner to fulfill the interest of consumption of country
resources in one way or the other. Very shameful scenario to be advocated for!

Conclusively; I wish Government of South Sudan should adopt evaluation mechanism to resolve the conflict with the rebels first before any agenda to do with election in June 2015.

Author is an Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on issues of Democratization Processes and Human Rights in South Sudan. Follow him on

Peter Gai Manyuon,
Chief Editor/Nyamilepedia

Truth Has its Own Way of Forcing Itself Out

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, SOUTH SUDAN, JAN/17/2015, SSN;

Whenever one decides to live one’s life on lies or by not telling the truth, either as a result of a disorder or whatever the reason might be, the big, slow-moving animal that we call TRUTH always find its own way to leap out of hand. This is a reality that the government of South Sudan should start realizing, if it has not yet done that.

Since the beginning of the war in December of last year, Salva Kiir, Michael Makuei, Paul Malong, Ateny Wek, Malak Ayuen and Philip Aguer have consistently led their group and supporters in the campaign of diverting the attention of the people of South Sudan from the reality of the war situation in the country. They have consistently referred to the SPLM/A and its activities as tribally motivated. By tribe, they mean the Nuer.

On many occasions, the war is portrayed, by them, as being fought between the Nuer and the other 63 South Sudanese tribes (at least, that is what they want others to believe). They kept repeating it as if members of the other 62 tribes (minus Dinka and Nuer) have no brains of their own to think and judge for themselves.

It is a desperate attempt to belittle the Opposition so as to make others perceive it and its activities as tribal affairs. They use the fact that the majority of the fighting forces on the SPLM/A side come from that tribe as evidence to support their propaganda.

They deliberately try to bury their heads, and brush aside what they did in Juba beginning from the 15th of December so that it does not look as the possible reason as to why the majority of the fighters on the SPLM/A side could come from the Nuer community.

The six have failed to see that others could deduce from their statements that since the majority of those fighting (Mathiang Anyor) on their side are from the Dinka community, then the other side of the tribal coin that they have been displaying is the Dinka tribe.

The simple thing that these six guys should understand is that if the SPLM/A can be referred to as a Nuer organization simply because the majority of the fighters come from the Nuer community, then the government can also be referred to as a Dinka business simply because the majority of those fighting on behalf of the government come from the Dinka community.

If this is how they see it, then there should be no public vilification of the Governor of Central Equatoria for saying that the war is between the Dinka and the Nuer. One cannot have it both ways. It is either this or that without a middle way.

Governor Clement Wani Konga
On the 9th of January 2015, Governor Clement Wani Konga made a statement to his government officials, which was basically asking the whole of the Equatoria region to stay neutral in the current war so as to assume the position of peace-makers. According to the Sudan Tribune, the statement spoke of the lack of value in joining the war, and that “It is the only chance for the people of Equatoria coming together so as to bring an end to this war between [the] Dinka and Nuer [tribes]”.

Ateny Wek Ateny
On last Saturday, a day after the Governor had made the statement, Ateny Wek Ateny (Salva’s press secretary) went public, calling the statement of the Governor “irresponsible”. In supporting his negative position, Ateny stated that “It is unfortunate governor Clement Wani Konga had failed to know he is part of the government to make such irresponsible remarks”.

He went further to say that “We believe the current war is not between the Dinka and Nuer, but a war caused by people who wanted to change the government through unconstitutional means”. In that same statement, according to the same source cited above, Ateny continued to state “Also with the rebels, there are people from different tribes, including people from Equatoria. There are also Dinka on the side of those in the rebellion”.

How I See the Thing
I want to state, at once, that I disagree with the Governor on his position that the war is fought between the Dinka and the Nuer. I believe that the war is fought between a people who have been mistreated and finally and systematically attacked on December 15, 2013, and a government that has proven itself to be anti-people and genocidal.

As for Ateny, I can only congratulate him for admitting that he has lost the battle by attacking the Governor for saying what he (Ateny) and his group have been using as a weapon in their propaganda campaign. On this, a brief analysis follows.

First, Ateny appears to suggest that being part of the government means one is not allowed to speak one’s mind. If this is the case, then that is mental bondage.

Second, if the government is not happy with describing the current war as tribal, then Ateny and his group should start leading the way by, first, publicly condemning themselves for have called it a war between the Nuer and other tribes, and, second, by promising the public that they will stop themselves from saying it again after. It is after this that they should be in a position to condemn and stop others from saying the same.

Taking such a step should not, now, be difficult since Ateny has already made a concrete admission that there are Equatorians and Dinka on the side of the Opposition as there are on their side. The problem has been that the government has always been in denial when it comes to the realities of this war.

But, at this point, an admission is made on the issue of the nature of the parties to the war. This issue now seems to be settled.

The other issue is that Ateny, in his statement, has redefined the war as one “…caused by people who wanted to change the government through unconstitutional means”. It is interesting. Who are these “people”? To him, people in his statement refer to the leaders of the SPLM/A. By “unconstitutional”, he is referring to the discredited story of a coup attempt.

At the time when things just got started, the coup story was a big thing to talk about. The government insisted that it had evidence pointing at those who were arrested in Juba as collaborators with Dr. Riek Machar, Gen. Taban Deng and Gen. Alfred Lado Gore who had already been declared as principals.

They insisted that the detainees be tried for their part in the alleged coup attempt. At the end of the trial, the detainees were released, forcing the court to stop making its judgment. That decision was made in anticipation of a court decision that was going to be unfavorable to the government, given the enormous lack of credible evidence. That formally ended the coup story.

As for the three leaders who were not present during the trial, it was said that their case would remain open as there were alleged evidence pointing to them as masterminds.

However, evidence as disclosed by Gordon Buay turned out to be recordings of communications with the troops long after the war had broken out. Is that really an evidence of a coup attempt that was supposed to have taken place before the war? One does not need to be a lawyer to throw this out of the file. It is just rubbish.

The truth of the matter is that Salva Kiir and his group are the ones who have resorted to an “unconstitutional” means of maintaining power. Instead of going through legitimate processes, he decided to go violent on his political opponents and interrupted a democratic political process within the SPLM Party; he went on to commit genocide by systematically going after one tribe that he perceives to be a natural constituency of one of his main political rivals.

Government’s Inconsistency
From the statements made by Ateny, it appears very clearly that the government of Salva Kiir does not have one consistent way of explaining the war to the people of South Sudan in particular and the international community in general.

Their position is determined by the audience that they find themselves talking to. Sometimes, it is a war between the government and coup-plotters; sometimes, it is a war between the Dinka and the Nuer; sometimes, it is a war between the Nuer and the other 63 tribes of South Sudan. They find it difficult to get the magic explanation as to who is fighting who.

This inconsistency on the part of the government in explaining the war is an embarrassing evidence that the war was actually cooked by a few who had failed to ask themselves the question of how to explain the whole undertaking to the people of South Sudan once it happened.

The main thing to them was to come up with the plan to get rid of the unwanted elements of the society. They were simply going after the idea of being the unchallenged power center in the country. Can such a people be allowed to lead a country, such as South Sudan? It is one of the most unfortunate things there are.

The war in South Sudan has been raging on for more than a year now. For all practical purposes, it is a war between the people of South Sudan and an anti-people government. All can see it. Those who have courage speak out about it; those who do not have the courage have resorted to keeping silence, just to avoid confrontation with a murderous government.

On its part, the government, mostly through the six individuals mentioned above, it has been a war between the government and coup-plotters, or between the Dinka and the Nuer, or between the Nuer and the other 63 tribes of South Sudan. Over time, the same government has gone through some elimination process. The coup story has crumbled; the tribal card now seems to be out based on the statement made by Ateny in response to the statement that had been made by Governor Clement Wani Konga a day previously.

With the coup story out of the way and with the characterization of the war as tribal, the war stands now in the eyes of everyone involved as a national crisis that must be faced for what it is.

The interesting thing at this point is that it takes Governor Clement Wani Konga’s statement for the government to change its position and tell the truth about the nature of the parties to the war. That is one of the strange ways that TRUTH can force itself out.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at